940:335 Literature & Culture of Spain (3)

Requirement for the course: successful completion of SPA 215. No exceptions.


This is a survey course in Medieval and Early-Modern Spanish literature. Students will explore a gamut of literary genres as we discuss the ideological, religious, social, aesthetic and cultural formations of the times. We will examine in detail what discursive strategies allowed writers (women writers, as well) to support and to challenge the conflictive times lived by Spain in the time of the Inquisition.  Students will have the opportunity to examine in-depth such discourses as blood lineage, inheritance, honor, virtue, illness, madness, violence and marriage as these were crucial as markers for identity and subjectivity. We will be constantly asking the following question: What adjustments are necessary for examining the medieval/ early-modern societies from the perspective of the American society’s 21st century? Does our knowledge of the past enrich our awareness of the present or vice versa?


Learning goals:

Students enrolled in this course will enhance their training in the following areas: communicative competence, general cultural knowledge, research ability and research methodologies, critical analysis and production of ideas, as outlines in our Departmental learning goals.

To this end, students will be graded in the following areas:


Class participation


Two in-class exams

Two short (5-7 page) research papers

In-class critical essay


Required texts:

    • Anónimo. La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus fortunas y adversidades (1554). Edición Francisco Rico. Madrid: Cátedra.
    • Caro, Ana. Valor, agravio y mujer. Ed. Lola Luna. Madrid: Castalia, 1993.
    • Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel. Novelas ejemplares (1613). México, D.F: Editorial Porrúa, 2007.
    • Additional readings will be posted in SAKAI and may vary each time the course is taught.